Bruno Canadien, Brenda Draney, Jessie Ray Short, Alberta Rose W., Adrian Stimson
A Space Main Gallery
September 18 – October 21, 2018
Curated by: Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective
Proudly Presented by A Space Gallery and imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
With Generous Support From our Public Funders: Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council
We gratefully thank our sponsors: VTape, Native Women in the Arts
Performance by Adrian Stimson Tuesday Sept 18, at 6:30
Curator & Artist Talk: Friday, October 19, 6:30pm (as part of the Art Crawl)
Artists living on the land now known as Alberta continue to contribute to conversations of contemporary art both nationally and internationally. The province has a rich history of Indigenous artists leading the way, making connections between territory and site through the materiality and criticality of their diverse practices. This exhibition investigates a range of works by Indigenous artists currently living in Alberta demonstrating the vitality of contemporary art in the province.
Each of the artists work activate Alberta’s variable territories and geographies from the boreal forest, the great plains, the vast array of mountain ranges from the foothills to the badlands, all connected by extensive bodies of water. While some artists consider site and relationship of land to family, others explore the ways in which the landscape has been altered by colonialism, capitalism and resource extraction. Overall, this exhibition considers the intersection of land, ecology, and relationality to and within Alberta.
Bruno Canadien is a member of the Deh Gah Got’ie Koe First Nation, a Deh Cho Region member of the Dene Nation. Bruno graduated from the Alberta College of Art’s Painting Department in 1993, and currently resides in the Calgary area. Bruno’s work has been included in The News From Here, the 2013 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art at the Alberta Gallery of Art, Culture Shift – 3rd Native Biennial hosted by Art Mur in Montreal (2016) and at INSURGENCE/RESURGENCE (2018) at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. His work may be found in public and private collections, including the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Glenbow Museum, Red Deer Museum, and the Indigenous Art Centre in Ottawa.
Brenda Draney is Cree from Sawridge First Nation, Treaty 8, with a strong connection to Slave Lake. Draney’s work is collected and shown across Canada including the National Gallery of Canada, the Embassy of Canada Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Sobey Collection, and the Shorefast Foundation. She shows in Banff, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa. She won both the 2009 RBC Painting Competition and 2014’s Eldon and Anne Foote Visual Arts Prize in Edmonton and was short listed for the 2016 Sobey Art Award at the National Gallery of Canada. Draney’s work visually represents the moment when vulnerability is exposed, while encouraging the viewer to reject the notion to dominate the void where horror, poignancy, or powerful moments exist. Draney encourages her viewer to face this void head on, but as an empath. She provides enough tools for the viewer to place their own narrative within her typical imaginary spaces.
Jessie Ray Short is an artist, filmmaker and independent curator whose cross disciplinary practice involves memory, visual culture and Metis history. In the past 10 years she has exhibited work nationally and internationally at venues including The Banff Centre for the Arts, M:ST Performative Arts Festival, Calgary AB, and at the Wairoa Māori Film Festival in Wairoa, Aotearoa (NZ). Jessie has been the recipient of several grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. As a curator she has had the opportunity to work on various projects most notably Jade Nasogaluak Carpenter: Mourn at City of Calgary Open Spaces Gallery and Mixed Berries: Amanda Strong and Bracken Hanuse Corlett at Gallery 2, Grand Forks, BC. She currently holds the positions of program coordinator for TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary, AB and Adjunct Curator of Indigenous Art for the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton, AB. Jessie holds an MA degree from Brock University with a focus on contemporary Metis visual culture.
Alberta Rose W. (Ingnuk) Born and raised in Treaty 7 Territory near to the Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley bands of the Nakoda nation, Alberta finds passion in art, food, politics, and social issues. These interests are expressed through artwork as well as engagement with community organizations and events. As an Inuvialuit person growing up in a predominantly white community, she has often felt a sense of displacement; but found connection to her culture through her mother and traditional practices. Alberta graduated from ACAD in the spring of 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art, majoring in painting, then completed a prepatorial practicum in the Walter Phillips Gallery at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Currently, she is in the process of travelling, creating more art, and works as a liaison for the Inuit Art Foundation.
Adrian Stimson is a member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation. He has a BFA with distinction from the Alberta College of Art and Design and MFA from the University of Saskatchewan. He considers himself as an interdisciplinary artist; he exhibits nationally and internationally. His paintings are primarily monochromatic, they primarily depict bison in imagined landscapes, they are melancholic, memorializing, and sometimes whimsical, they evoke ideas cultural fragility, resilience and nostalgia. The British Museum recently acquired two paintings for their North American Indigenous collection. His performance art looks at identity construction, specifically the hybridization of the Indian, the cowboy, the shaman and Two Spirit being. Buffalo Boy, The Shaman Exterminator are two reoccurring personas. He was awarded the Blackfoot Visual Arts Award in 2009, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003, the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 and the REVEAL Indigenous Arts Award – Hnatyshyn Foundation.
Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective supports Indigenous contemporary art, experimental creative practices, and innovative research. Based in the region of Edmonton, Alberta, Ociciwan supports the work of Indigenous contemporary artists and designers and engages in contemporary critical dialogue. We value artistic collaboration and foster the awareness of Indigenous contemporary art practices. Core Collective members include Tiffany Shaw-Collinge (Metis), Erin Sutherland (Metis), Becca Taylor (Cree), and Kristy Trinier.